By on January 20, 2010

Quit your whining and go buy a Fiesta, you girl.

Ford’s facing one of the toughest challenges in automotive product planning: how to offer the competitive compact pickup consumers say they want without cannibalizing far more profitable full-sized trucks. The solution? Don’t offer a competitive compact pickup. “It’s no secret we have a new Ranger coming globally. We’re working on one for all the other markets in the world,” Ford’s Derrick Kuzak tells Pickuptrucks.com. “The difference is that all of those other markets only have a Ranger. They don’t have an F-150 above it.” See how that works? But don’t worry, Ranger fans. Ford has your effete, pathetic backs…

Today, a lot of customers who buy Rangers are the people who use it as a commuter vehicle. But with the new Ford Fiesta and Focus coming into the lineup, those kinds of customers will have other alternatives to the Ranger… The vast majority of Ranger buyers are not using the full capability of the truck.

See, why would anyone who actually uses a pickup buy a compact like the Ranger? You know, other than the fact that Ford hasn’t updated the wee hauler since the late Mesozioc and recently killed a mid-sized F-100 pickup. Actually, don’t answer that. Either buy a Fiesta, or pony up for an Ecoboost V6 F-150 (coming soon) or a four-cylinder Ecoboost F-150 (maybe coming eventually). Meanwhile, don’t mention a word of this to Howie Long.

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66 Comments on “Ford Replacing Ranger With F-150, Focus, Fiesta...”


  • avatar
    Lemmy-powered

    Ford says: ” The vast majority of Ranger buyers are not using the full capability of the truck.”

    Well, a large number of F-150 buyers don’t use the full capability of THAT truck, either, so why not offer an alternative, like the Ranger?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      This is exactly what I was thinking.  People want a Ranger that they can commute with, but also want a vehicle they can haul stuff in that is too big for a car.  If the Ranger gets decent gas mileage, I am guessing it would be a great success.
       
      I wonder if they are worried about the F150 poaching not having the F150 not sell as much as the Silverado one year.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      They are worried about the mid 1990’s Contour vs. Taurus, Mystique vs. Sable, conundrum.

      When a new Ranger costs nearly as much as an F-Series to make (today it is cheaper because all the design and tooling is long ago paid off…), but offers less space, and power, and variable profit than an F-150, you can only get two things, 1) Ranger offering profitless prosperity, and 2) Cross-canibalization between Ranger and F-150 …

    • 0 avatar

      +1

      Here’s what I wonder, with thinking like that: Why did they EVER build the Ranger? To be competitive in the market with other compact pickups, duh. And, they still sold the F-150 right next to it in great numbers.

      So, if Toyota can still find buyers for Tacoma (sold alongside the Tundra – which may have been harmed by being the later intro), and other makers are considering entering the market (Mahindra), what’s the point of letting the Ranger languish?

      Sounds to me like they just want to take their toys and go home ‘cuz they got beat up.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Joe, Back in the day, ca. early-90’s, the boys in Building 1 (Ford Truck Building) in Dearborn used to say about the Ranger … “This is the vehicle that allows us to make an obscene profit on the F-Series” … Why?  It was all due to truck CAFE aggregate-truck-mileage requirements.

      The chassis engineeering boys also used to laugh at the Toyota T-100 as a joke … “It’s no competition for our products … we ran it over the Truck Durability Route at APG … by the time it finished the exhaust system had fallen off … it’s no Tough Truck…”

    • 0 avatar

      Most SUV drivers don’t use the full capacity either. So?

      What does Ford care as long as it sells? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      John

  • avatar

    I think you’d get shot if you said that in Texas. Not to mention the “full capability” of a 2.3L Ranger is pretty easy to reach.  It’s a great light duty hauler, unlike a Fiesta.

    Moot point, this means the Tacoma has it made for several more years.  Maybe forever.   

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      This Texan rode in an ’84 Ranger with his grandfather hauling cattle to auction in a 16′ trailer.  Sure, it was slower than his ’69 Ford pickup, but it got the job done.  He was from the WWII “Greatest Generation”…the last generation, it seems, to understand that it wasn’t the size of your truck that made you a Texan, or a man, it was the work you actually got done.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Erm… I know Ford isn’t in the game of making a different kind of vehicle for every different type of person on earth like Mercedes are – but – there are plenty of people out there who want a pickup but don’t want something enormous with a bed about 5 feet off the ground. By withdrawing the Ranger, Ford are not going to add sales to the F150 – they’re just going to lose potential Ranger customers. I guarantee that when the Ranger finally does vanish, people should pay attention to all the other smaller trucks (ie the Tacoma) and you’ll see their sales rise.
     

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      The compact pickup market was in decline long before Carmegeddon hit with force … the T6 platform (new Ranger) is being developed to fulfil FMVSS and DOT … if the Ranger demographic fails to fractionate as desired and rejects the Fiesta+Focus+F150 combination … Ford will be able to 1) in the first step import from Thailand, 2) in the 2nd step capacitize somewhere inside NAFTA (probably not Twin Cities though)…

      Don’t forget, if the segment were stronger, and Ford had the discretionary tooling money available, capacity would be added directly for NAFTA-located/-bound production…

      If not a ruse to keep the competition from updating their portfolios, then this plan is largely a capital preservation move crossed with a Realpolitik approach to a smaller market segment … better to invest the tool monies into developing the NA-Transit as a replacement for the 1992-era VN-58/-127 Econoline … Econoline owns its segment and can mint profit if updated properly…

  • avatar
    SecretAznMan

    Well, my Focus hatchback has effectively taken the place of a small pickup during the remodeling of my house.  We’ve moved 2x4x8, 2x4x10, 120 gal pond liner, dishwasher, lawn mower, and tile saw to name a few.  In fact we made it back from the hardware store with the lawn mower, miter saw, and pond liner on the same trip!  Its next trick is to head to the local garden supply and get filled up with mulch.  Don’t get me wrong, I do think there is a need for a Ranger.  This only further explains why an F-150 is overkill for most.
     
     

  • avatar
    Hank

    This is a misstep after a string of good plays.  I’d consider a the new global Ranger when my suv finally dies.  I wouldn’t cross shop it with a commuter car, I’d cross shop it with a Nissan Frontier or a Tacoma.
    White flag, it is.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Thank God that Ford is finally offering non-Ranger alternatives for commuters!
     
    I mean for decades, Ford offered nothing to the public except for the Ranger.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    Suburbanites bought Rangers because they wanted a truck that fit in their garages.  There is no room for an F150 in a garage with junk hauled with it.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      True, I live in an established neighborhood, my house was built in 1953, and there’s no way in heck my 2004 F150 will fit in my one car garage.  I was shopping used when I bought my truck and if there had been any decent used Rangers within a 50mile radius, I’d have bought it.  All the ones I saw had well over a 100,000 miles on them and were totally clapped out.

  • avatar
    JMII

    The F150 is too big… I bought a ’02 Dakota because it was “right” sized. I owned a Ranger before but the old 4.0l V6 was a dog for towing. The 4.7l V8 in my Dodge does the job better (same mileage I might add). I’d love a Ranger with a V6 Ecoboost, but clearly Ford wants me to put a hitch on a Focus. Idiots! Memo to Ford: update the Ranger, keep the same size, add more power to the V6, just skip the heated leather seats – they can stay in the F150.
    BTW the Dakota fits in my garage… but barely, thus its as big as I want to go.

  • avatar

    So, what’s the alternative, then? Tacoma is quite big these days. It is definitely bigger than older Dakotas at least. Frontier is almost as big and it’s heavy, expensive, and a gas-burner. Mahindra with a diesel? It is less likely to happen with every year of delay. Seriously, guys. Ford knows that there’s no competition in the marketplace. Sure, Scott Brown may like his Colorado, but…

    • 0 avatar
      tulsa_97sr5

      I get the ‘tacomas are huge now’ thing, but I think that has more to do with the most people choosing to buy the extended and crew cab models.  The 2wd reg cab tacoma is still pretty small but the only people who seem to really want those are for delivery service.  sorry for the ugly table
      vehicle_._._._._._._._._length._._.width._.weight
      10 ranger 2wd reg cab._189.4._._.69.3._._.3030
      10 tacoma 2wd reg cab._190.4._._.72.2._._.3250
      10 ranger supercab 4wd._203.6._._.71.3._._.3668
      10 tacoma ext cab 4wd._208.1._._.74.6._._.4070
      10 tac. dbl cab 4wd._._.223.3._._.74.6._._.4190
      10 f150 2wd reg cab sb._213.1._._.78.9._._.4743 *smallest f150 i could find

  • avatar
    James2

    Even with all the good moves Ford is making this shows they are still perfectly capable of making bonehead decisions. Has Mr. Kuzak even looked at a F-150 lately? The thing is huge. If he doesn’t want to bring the global Ranger here–One Ford be damned–why not revive a 3/4 or 7/8-scale F-100? It shouldn’t be too hard or costly to downsize the existing platform and still be able to be built on the same line. Chopping 600 to 1000 pounds off the beast will improve fuel economy in a way EcoBoost can only dream about.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      It’s all about scarce resources, personnel, cash for investment, and opportunity cost … who is going to do the engineering work? where is the tool money going to come from? is it better to invest the same resources into bringing over the C-Max and the Kuga … BTW, this is what Derrick is speaking about when he talks about Ranger people buying into the Focus … Focus wears many “hats” these days … perhaps enough to cover the majority of the market that the Ranger served in the US … as well as picking up other customers that buy C-segment customer vehicles …

  • avatar
    ott

    +1 hank, You said it.

    What a bone-headed decision. If Ford is concerned that Ranger sales are dropping, maybe they should update last century’s platform??? Ford has a looooong history of letting platforms just… languish. Once it’s built, it just keeps going, and going… Ford, update the Ranger and don’t insult every one of your previous Ranger buyers by suggesting they should now be able to do all the things they need to do with a Fiesta.

    Crazy. 

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Ford MAY be perfectly positioned to redefine a once-vibrant vehicle category. Or not. They probably can’t see how the investment in a federalized new global Ranger platform will pay off in NA sales. Given current Tacoma and Frontier sales, plus the disaster that is the Colorado/Canyon,  that’s easy to understand.
    Either way,  telling small pickup buyers that they can buy a compact or an F-150 is both arrogant and  dumb.  Better to say nothing. Toyota and Nissan product planners must have enjoyed reading that.
    It’s been a long time since Ford made a short-sighted, self-destructive decision. My instincts and nothing else say that this is probably the one.

    • 0 avatar

      “Either way, telling small pickup buyers that they can buy a compact or an F-150 is both arrogant and dumb. Better to say nothing. Toyota and Nissan product planners must have enjoyed reading that.”

      Not going to lie, the second I saw “buy an F-150 or Focus” the very first thing that popped into my mind was “I hope you arrogant jackasses go belly up.”

      Jesus Christ, you need a stepladder just to get inside the new F-150’s pickup bed. Calling the “Ranger” a “commuter vehicle” just because it cannot tow 11,000 pounds of cargo is … it’s just wrong and disturbing. I’m astonished that American brands view a vehicle like that.

      Here’s the truth of the whole situation. Mulally is a car guy. He doesn’t understand why Middle America wants SUVs or pickups, at all. He cannot understand why a person would prefer a truck platform to a car. He’s thinking like a car guy. A car guy, especially the kind that drives a Toyota Camry, thinks, “My commuter should have a great ride and be a luxurious cruiser, and if I have to have a truck it should be the biggest truck I can find and I’ll park it forever and use it once or twice a year when I have to.”

      Why else did he switch Explorer to unibody? The killing of the Ranger was done for the same reasons: “Well, nobody’s using the vehicle’s capability so we’re just going to do what’s logical. These vehicles are commuter vehicles, so they should have a great ride and be really luxurious inside and out, towing and capabilities be damned.”

      I know a guy like this. He once owned a Chevy Trailblazer as a daily driver. He switched it to a car. I asked what he thought of the Ranger. He said, “POS”. Why? “Because it can’t do anything.”

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    I see thes sales going 3 ways: Tacoma, Frontier, and Dakota. None to F-150,  nor any to GM or Ridgeline. All of you have already explained the reasons why. If the profit margin was the problem, the replacement could have come from Mexico or Brazil. Clearly Ford believes they can afford to throw away this business.

    Incidently, I used to have a neighbour who had the original F-100 Ranger which he used to haul a horse trailer.  Eventually he traded it for an F-350 stake bed, took a chest freezer, converted it to a sleep compartment, and mounted behind the cab. “It’s for the kids you see.”

  • avatar
    nudave

    Oh, I get it.  Why would you want to sleep with a 100 pound woman when you could sleep with a 200 pound woman?

  • avatar
    lutonmoore

    My 2006 Dakota is in a tranmission shop as I write this.  80K miles, service done and still died on me.  I’ll be looking at Tacomas mighty close when I finally lose this piece of garbage.  To hell with American vehicle manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      WildBill

      I feel your pain, I bought a first model year Dakota (’88 I think). It trashed its tranny and they had it THREE FRICKIN’ WEEKS fixing it (under warranty, thank God). Worst part was they rented me some POS compact car, the model I’ve blocked out of my memory it was that bad. Also had multiple problems with engine sensors. Sold it to a drunken airline pilot (yea, really!) and got a full size Ford van in its place. The wife to this day still give me crap about buying that truck, “You just HAD to have that piece of sh**, didn’t you?” She really needs smacked sometimes. My next small pickup was a ’94 Ranger XLT 4WD Super Cab with the 4.0 V6. Still have it with only 81,000 miles on it (12,000 when I got it in ’96).  

  • avatar
    mistrernee

    I think it’s time for Mazda to take a risk and ditch the Ranger in North America and bring their own B-Series back.

  • avatar
    thetaII

    This is a perfect opportunity for Hyundai or KIA to get into the NA truck market, or for Sergio to bring back the Jeep Comanche, perhaps with an adaptation of MultiAir if that technology is useful above 1400cc.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    @Robert.Walter — Good points.  The Transit Connect is already getting quite popular as an E 150 substitute for smaller businesses.
    Maybe the thing to do is be ready with a Focus-based pickup like the Sixties Falcon or Eighties VW Rabbit? They were kind of ahead of their times, but maybe the Teens are the right era for a new segment-buster?
     

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Good move for Ford. There’s a $4000 difference between a base Ranger and a base F-150, which comes with a V-8.  Ford can narrow that difference by offering a 4-cylinder standard cab short bed F-150 all built the same way for best economies of scale.  That’s for Ranger customers who really need a truck.  Sure, Ford will lose some Ranger-intenders but not all of them.  Ford will make it up with increased F-150 $ale$.

  • avatar

    If they don’t want to cannabalize their sales, someone else will come in a do it for you.

    Hell, just offer a Focus platform based truck – don’t make it look like an El Camino, just give it normal truck styling.

  • avatar

    With Ranger tooling probably paid off a zillion years ago, I’m surprised Ford never marketed it heavily in the 3rd world as a people/cargo mover.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      They (N.A. Ranger) are also built and sold in S. America…

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      Cargo mover? In the 3rd world? Are you crazy? LOL! This truck had/has a “huge” 2.3/2.5L gas engine! Or a diesel from another company (Cummings?). Cargo here is moved by Fiat Fiorino (an Uno w/ a Transit-like behind) or pick-ups derived from compact (to you Americans sub-compact) cars like the Fiat Strada (derived form palio), VW Saveiro (comes from Gol), Ford Courier (stems from last generation Fiesta)or Chevy Montana (originally a Corsa). W/ engines between 1.4 and 1.6L. (think El Camino and/or Ranchero!!!, though much smaller)

      As for people movers, yes, down in South America these cars serve as rich people movers. People who can spend over 38k USD on a car. The Ranger here was the perennial runner-up after the Chevy S10. Now both have been surpassed by the Toyota Hilux, which is even more expensive than the American duet, which just goes to show that these cars down here are truly in the luxury segment as the most expensive truck leads the pack.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    they do… look at this
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Everest
    those Thai made trucks dominate many western and asian markets where a F150 sized truck would be impractical
    they are mostly diesel powered though

  • avatar

    I strongly suspect the Koreans are going to get into the compact pickup game one of these days. Previously, the Chicken Tax made it impractically expensive, but Kia now has this snazzy plant in Georgia. The Georgia plant supposedly has a capacity of 350,000-400,000 units, which Kia isn’t using yet. And what is that plant producing, you ask? Why, the new Kia Sorento, which is a body-on-frame SUV whose overall dimensions are remarkably similar to those of the current Ranger, with four- and six-cylinder engines.
     
    If Ford dumps the Ranger without a direct replacement, we may see a recreation of the Japanese minitruck craze of the early seventies, but with Korean nameplates instead of Datsun and Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Hopefully like the Kia KCV-4 Mojave.

    • 0 avatar

      Like I said earlier, KIA is moving forward with their Soul’ster, but the Mojave is long dead.
       
      http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/news/kia/kia-preps-for-us-pickup.html
       
      Kia’s official reasoning was that a compact truck needed to be “cool” to get sales, and the Mojave just wasn’t cool enough. Instead, they’re hacking off the top of a Kia Soul and adding cargo bed. That’s assuming that they make a pickup at all.
       
      The new Kia Sorento is a unibody by the way. They switched it over to a crossover platform.
       
      I would say a Chinese and Indian invasion of trucks is more likely than a Korean invasion. They’ll take their knockoff designs based off of the 2000-2004 Toyota Tacoma, price them $13,000-$15,000 and make a killing.

    • 0 avatar
      WildBill

      If you look closely at the Kia commercial with the kid riding the bike inside the GA plant, at the very end of it you see a vast area with just about nothing in it (other than the kid and the Sorento). Looks like plenty of expansion room there, for something. I’m no longer in the market for a small truck, need a beefier tow vehicle. Still thinking of replacing the ’94 Ranger 4WD and the 2000 Expedition with a crew cab F-150 with at least a 5.4 V8 and 4WD (and auto for the wife).  That gives me about the same passenger space and tow capacity as the Expe and the pickup bed and 4WD of the Ranger for other farm use. Have my eye on a 2002 Lariot with a nice cap on it and only 55,000 miles at a local dealer, but no bucks available to get it then sell the other two. Making payments on a new Subie Forester now so it’s just a pretty dream. 

  • avatar
    Ion

    I often wondered if Ford just dropped new engines in and maybe encorperated Sync into the interior and called that a refresh would people buy that ‘new’ Ranger. I mean it can’t cost much to change a couple mounts and stick a double din navi in there right?

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      It is logical … however there is also the classic case of “mission creep” to be considered/avoided…  although I think Big Al would be hip to preventing this…

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    I think it was some software or PC  CEO who said “Cannibalizing our own sales?  Sure, we do it all the time. If we don’t eat our own children, someone else will.”
    I like the El Camino’d Focus idea, and flatbed Transit. Transit should have body alternatives.
    I carry ten foot 2 x 10s inside my 2002 A4, and do dump runs. I am starting to eyeball CL for old low mile Ranger, with 4 cyl and manual, for no money.
    Off topic, the A4 interior is newer looking than my dad’s 2008 Acura MDX.
    I like 2010 F100 idea but want it in 7 years for $3,500.
    F150 is too high off ground, regardless of power train. Never.
    They are crazy to keep world market Ranger out of USA. Get the costs out and sell it. Henry is rolling and twisting in his grave.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    I can understand Ford’s decision.  It is purely economic, but their “out loud” reasoning is full of holes.
     
    The reality is they don’t make enough profit on the segment to afford their scarce development resources on it.  Don’t forget that the Explorer and Ranger were sisters….the Ranger the ugly one.  When small pickup sales fell, they could still justify making them because they shared much of the same tooling.  When the Explorer died, the Ranger wasn’t long for this world.
     
    If Ford was being honest they’d just say “We aren’t capable of making money in such a small niche market as the Ranger.”

  • avatar
    frodo_17

    I understand Ford being hesitant to encroach on F-150 profits vis a vis sales of the Ranger but their publicly displayed logic is weak – as many other posters have mentioned already.
     
    Two things come to mind though:
    1.  As the economy slowly recovers, gasoline will continue rising in price.  Gas is already rising (nearly $3/gal in many locations) 

    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.asp  

    and likely to continue rising as global demand increases.  I don’t know where the magic line will be but last year when gasoline was hitting $4/gal, Ford’s F-150 sales suffered tremendously.  This happened before the credit crunch.  Just like before, all of the suburbanites bail on big trucks when they cost too much to run.  If Mahindra brings a fuel efficient diesel to the market at a good price (ugly though it may be), it will sell.  Same thing for Toyota and Nissan.

    2.  If Ford’s new world Ranger is to be brought to the North American market in the event I am right about #1, then it will have needed to be homologated for the U.S. market.  That takes time and money and I haven’t read anything to indicate Ford has done so.  Also, they will need to have a production site in the Americas (or import them from Thailand but import taxes make that practically impossible).  It takes at least a year to set up that production.
     
    In other words, either they are fibbing or making a huge mistake.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      I think the gas/price concerns are the reason for the EB V6 and the DI V6 being added within the next few years. The main reason they aren’t bringing the world ranger over is that the price they would have to charge would be close to the base price (if not higher than) of the F150, americans have proven (and you have to sell what the general public wants, not what 50 or so B&B’s want), that (atleast with trucks) other things being equal (price) they are going to buy as big as they can. Additionally with the explorer soon to be seperated, there is no way to justify using a factory in NA to build it.

      I think eventually if gas prices go high enough, you will see the F100 (lower, shorter bed, etc) return with an EB4.

      And in terms of the fiesta/focus argument, when trucks sales started drying up, where did people go? Think it is in Ford’s best interest to offer (fund) WC cars in these segments then spend money on a true niche (the compact PU).

  • avatar
    DangerousDave

    I traded my F-150 for a Ranger.  Once I was done remodeling my home, I could dispense with the F-150, but still wanted something to make the occasional trip to Home Depot or the dump.  The other issue with a full size pick up is parking the damn thing in tight parking lots.  I found myself backing up 2-3 times in the F-150 to get in or out of a parking spot.  The Ranger does everything I need it to do including towing my small boat, its easy to park and gets good mileage.   Why would anyone in the market for a small truck ever consider a Fiesta?  If there wasn’t a Ranger or the equivilent on the lot I would seek out a different brand of compact pickup.

  • avatar
    criminalenterprise

    Ford refreshed the original C170 Focus to save money over moving the line to the global C1 platform – and then went so far over budget on the cheap 170 facelift they spent more than if they’d just tooled up for the C1 in the first place.
     
    Compact trucks are very competitive segment with constraints on profits and only slight chances to distinguish your model.  Research is probably telling them their CUVs were siphoning many old Ranger buyers off anyway, and those who do need a truck and were not willing to move up into an F150 are not worth pursuing.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    Making a deduction based on something Robert Walter said, my guess is they no longer need the Ranger for CAFE purposes since they have many small cars coming online. It’s low-profit in North America so kill it.
    Not that I agree with that decision…

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    that kia soul ‘truck’ isn’t serious
    it’s a lifestyle truck for people who want to haul surfboards and bicycles
    i’m pretty sure it would faint at the sight of a real load
    i used to drive a Colorodo/Rodeo type crewcab truck… these are nothing too bad really… about 4,000lbs with a 180hp, 300lb-ft diesel motor it was pretty quick too
    problem is they are hell to park – forget anywhere in the city center
    even mcdonalds and kfc was an issue

  • avatar
    chitbox dodge

    Two words…

    Flex  Ranchero

    Seriously, de-content them a bit, make them a short bed platform, keep awd and ecoboost as options, and change nothing else.  I’d buy one for $20K-ish.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    I’m not clear here – Is Ford not going to offer the Ranger at all?   Or are they only going to offer the “old” ranger in NA? 

    I have a ranger that was made during the civil war era, but it still runs fine, and it is a nice compromise of commuter vehicle and useful hauler.    

    If I were a landscaper or plumber or some such, I’d have to get a full sized truck, but I’m not in the trades anymore, so I can haul what I need and I don’t mind if I have to make two trips.    Time is not money for me. 

    Whatever I replace it with would be a solo commuter 90% of the time, and a small car/trailer combo would serve my purposes – but hell, there is nothing wrong with having the “trailer” mounted to the chassis directly behind the seats.    It’s a good practical vehicle.  

    I’d almost bet that a higher % of Rangers are used for real work than F150s.   After all, no one is buying a Ranger to compensate for equipment size.  

    I differ from most of the BB in that I don’t think the “old” Ranger is obsolete.  Still a perfectly useful, class leading, compact pickup.    Give the front clip a facelift and call it good.  

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I differ from most of the BB in that I don’t think the “old” Ranger is obsolete.

      I think trucks caught the car disease of needing updates every 4-5 years… it’s unfortunate in many ways.

  • avatar
    jaybread

    hmmmm–reading this makes me think a lot of posters need bigger garages, a gym membership, and spotter for parking. But, I digress.
    Pick ups, any pick up, is used for it’s intended purpose whenever the owner has to haul something that won’t fit in a car. Arguments that you can rent a truck don’t fly with almost anyone. This is America, and we want what we want when we want it. (At least I do.)
    Ford is a truck company. Trucks make the money that funds everything else they do. If they can figure out a way to make money with a Ranger equivalent, they will. The opinion of one guy that Ford customers will buy a Focus to replace a Ranger is ludicrous. He will soon be counting paper clips in the basement next to his red stapler if he keeps speaking in public like this.
    I own both ends of the Ford spectrum, a 98 Ranger 4wd and an 08 F350 diesel DRW 4wd. They both serve their purposes extremely well, and I couldn’t be happier with either of them. (Well, the mpg of my diesel is terrible due to the new EPA rules, but I’m OK with that)
    Ford will get a LOT of feedback from the market if they drop the Ranger. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Let’s enjoy the view for a while and see how things go.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Take the statements of Mr. Kuzak very seriously … he has the creds to back up his statements … his statements were not meant to offend customers, and they were likely taken out of context, or too cryptic for a clear understanding of what is going on.

      A short CV: was Program Mgr for U152, 2001 Explorer; then PM for C1 Technologies (Focus/Volvo 40&50/Mazda3); then VP Engrg FoE; now Group VP Engrg Ford WW.

      This is the guy who pushed for Transit Connect to come to US; Ecoboost (higher specific output, goal being to get more out of the engines, BMW is now pursuing a similar strategy) and is severely committed to delivering all that “Best in Class” rhetoric (it is not empty talk) … he is hardly the polished huckster … he does his homework, asks key questions, and is not afraid to change his mind if new facts come to light.

      I have personally negotiated with this dude (he’s not really a ‘dude’ in the classic sense, but I felt like using the word here) and I found him to be honest, pragmatic, and fair … he is also a bit of a shy, quiet-talking, non-self-promoter, but when he speaks, listen!

      In comparison to many of his counterparts, dealing with him was a breath of fresh-air; this in itself is a testiment to him, since he came-up thru, was not corrupted by and survived the bad old Ford culture.

      He is my dark-horse candidate to replace Big Al.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    “a lot of customers” use the Ranger as a commuter car? First, how does “a lot of” translate to “all”, and therefore justify simply killing a model? Second, what’s wrong with people using their Ranger for whatever the hell they want? Why is it so awful that Rangers are used by “a lot of” commuters?

    Also, it’s pretty lazy and outright moronic to say the base F-150 is a viable substitute (I won’t even dignify the Focus/Fiesta alternative with a response) – The regular cab short-bed F-150 is 23″ inches longer, 8″ wider, and 5″ taller.

    By that logic, who needs a Fusion? Why can’t people just buy the Taurus and Mustang? Why are there still idiots out there buying the Edge, when the Flex is bigger? And why is there a Transit Connect if a 15-passenger E-Series van is basically the exact same thing?

    The truth is, if someone wants a new compact truck, their choices are very limited. The Tacoma, Frontier and Dakota aren’t compact anymore. Even the Colorado grew larger than the old S10. The only new compact pickup out there is the Ranger.

    I guess if Mahindra ever gets here, they’ll be plugging a hole Ford has decided to leave open.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Within reason, I’m not worried about base price. What I do worry about in a pickup truck is size. As in, I don’t want one of those full-sized monsters that passes for a standard pickup truck nowadays.

    Back in the ’90’s I ran a 17th century re-enactment sutlery out of the bed of first a ’91, then ’94 Dodge Dakota, and loved them. Once I sold the sutlery, the wife asked that the next pickup be a bit smaller (that ’94 was a long bed), so I went with a ’96 S-10. I still have it, 148k, and it’s running fine.

    Now, I’m looking for something new(er). I don’t care if the design is 15 years old, just so it’s as comfortable as my S-10, isn’t too much bigger, and has a bed no higher. Other than the usual garbage hauling and Lowe’s runs, my main use for a pickup is hauling motorcycles. Or hauling a bunch of racing bicycles to various swap meets. I’m definitely disinterested in the current style of making a 2wd pickup look like a 4wd (hear that Toyota and Nissan?)

    I’m also finicky-anal enough about the condition of my cars that I will not use a hatchback or sedan to haul garbage, lumber, mulch, etc. So screw that Focus/Fiesta suggestion.

    Looks like I’m going to be buying used again this time around, as by the time I finally finish saving up for the next pickup, neither the Ranger, Colorado or Canyon will be in production. Nor the Dakota, although I’m not happy with the current generation’s up-sizing either.

    Just do a serious update of the current American Ranger (suspension, power, interior) and leave well enough alone. I’d be extremely happy with the end result.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    If Ford decides to discontinue the current Ranger and not update or replace it that’s only because they have determined their scarce development dollars can be more profitably spent elsewhere. I don’t see how anyone can argue with that decision irregardless of what you think Ford should do with the Ranger. The fact of the matter is that the compact/midsize pickup market has been in steady decline for a number of years now and shows no signs of reversal. Keeping in mind that Ford is deciding the Ranger’s fate based on profitability obviously they think there is not the necessary profit vs. the expense to continue to compete in this segment. The bottom line is the bottom line.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    The F-150 isn’t selling enough to support both an F-150 and a Ranger. While still #1, it will take more than model years to pay off the F-150 redesigns. The market for pick up trucks has changed for the worse since 2007.

    It is entirely possible that the next generation of F-150 will be smaller than today’s generation. They are simply too big. If the next F-150 ends up sized as it was 15 years ago, then Ford will have bridged the differences between a compact and full-sized pick up.

    But right now the F-150 is everything for Ford, and they cannot risk deluding the market further. They have an entire vehicle line up that needs to be paid off, and 2009 was a very bad year. Ford stock is still worth only half it was just a few years ago. It is too soon to gamble on an entirely new pick up.

    Toyota and Nissan are not threats to the F-150 as once feared. What caused Ford to create the current generation was the risk seen by these two manufacturers. So, Toyota and Nissan can have the compact truck market a little longer while Ford sits it out and pays off their debts. If the market shifts again towards a compact truck, Ford can ship the new Rangers from overseas until the costs of producing the trucks here, can be justified.

    I loved my Ranger, but I can understand why Ford chose to do this.

  • avatar

    To drop the Ranger line would be exactly what Ford did with Taurus, until Bill Ford brought a new president onboard named Allan Mulally.
    The Taurus lost out with the public because Ford ran the Taurus into the ground from pure neglect! I hope Allan Mulally has his eyes open as to Ford running the Ranger line into the ground also.
    I own a ranger, NOT for commuting but for hauling stuff. I have a Taurus for “commuting”. I don’t need nor want a F-150 because I get all I need from my small truck…it has many advanages over the full size truck.
    I would hope Mr. Mulally would use the same wisdom with the Ranger he used concerning the Taurus.

    Below is the conversation as told by Alan Mulally;

    “I arrive here, and the first day I say, ‘Let’s go look at the product lineup.’ And they lay it out, and I said, ‘Where’s the Taurus?’ They said, ‘Well, we killed it.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, you killed it?’ ‘Well, we made a couple that looked like a football. They didn’t sell very well, so we stopped it.’ ‘You stopped the Taurus?’ I said. ‘How many billions of dollars does it cost to build brand loyalty around a name?’ ‘Well, we thought it was so damaged that we named it the Five Hundred.’ I said, ‘Well, you’ve got until tomorrow to find a vehicle to put the Taurus name on because that’s why I’m here. Then you have two years to make the coolest vehicle that you can possibly make.’?” The 2010 Taurus is arriving on the market this spring, and while it is not as startling as the original 1986 Taurus, it is still pretty cool.
    Complete Story –
    http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-alan-mulally-is-saving-ford-motor.html


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